The highlight of our week was Sunday! We had two girls come to church who are 20 years old and are so much fun! We had met them on the street a few weeks ago, talked to them for a bit, invited them to game night - which they came to this week, and then we invited them to church and they came! They stayed for all three hours and liked it...and at the end they asked us if "maybe it would be OK if they came to church every once and a while?" And we happily told them that that was definitely OK. The members were great at fellow shipping them and it was one of those moments where you feel super happy to be a missionary. Also, a less active member we have been teaching came to church on Sunday and she just looked super happy and it made my life. It was just a great Sunday. I had been very stressed out because I was teaching the second hour of class and part of the third hour....and my Japanese is not good enough to be teaching that many classes in one day (plus I thought I was speaking in sacrament meeting....but that turned out to be a mistake and I wasn't) ...but what began as a rather stressful Sunday turned into a super powerful Sabbath day and the Lord took hold of my language abilities and helped me to teach everything that I needed to in Japanese....and I think that the lessons went well. :)
Yesterday we had Zone Conference and it was amazing! I love Zone Conferences, and this one was even better because Morin Chourou who was in my MTC District and is from Canada was able to translate into French for Chapman Shimai. She was SO HAPPY. And at the end of it she turned to me and said: "It is SO NICE to be able to understand!" I can't even imagine how hard it would be to be a missionary and really not understand a large percentage of the things going on around you every day. Well....I can imagine because I didn't speak Japanese...but I can't imagine not even being able to understand your companion OR anything around you AND learning two languages. The magnitude of what she is doing just blows me away every day!
Anyway, at Zone Conference we talked a TON about using the Book of Mormon and we did lots of Mogis with using the Book of Mormon. AND that was super fun because my mogi companion ended up being Weigl Shimai and she is a super great missionary and it was way natsukashii to mogi with her! It was like a piece of home...but not...all at once because we are in Japan and neither of us is the same person that we were before we came to Japan. On another note, her Japanese is really good. And she promised to say hello to everyone for me when she arrives home in Virginia in just a few weeks. Crazy how fast that time went. Anyway, I learned lots about the Book of Mormon and was reminded of how very powerful of a tool it is. As we have focused on trying to use the Book of Mormon more, as we dendou these past few weeks, we have started to see a lot of miracles. There is a power that comes from that Book! "A man will get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other Book..." (Introduction to the Book of Mormon).
Another cool focus of our Zone Meeting was seeing how the gospel blesses people’s lives...and sort of seeing the "after story". It was way cool. We watched some follow up videos to the district and some other videos that showed a few families conversion stories and how their lives were impacted...and what happened to them years after they joined the church. My favorite was of a man named Erik from the district. He joined the church in California, and even as he was preparing for baptism he was really struggling with the Word of Wisdom. He had been an alcoholic, his family didn't talk to him and his life was just hard. He was baptized. He completely overcame his drinking problem...and now, just a bit down the road...he fixed his relationship with his children. They served missions. He remarried, and now has a large happy family. The biggest change was in his face. There was a completely different light in him now. It was one of the coolest things. There are moments that happen in life...."divine intersections", there are people we meet...and one day we will see what happened because of all of those divine intersections. I am excited for that moment.
ALSO! This Friday was National Pickle Day and so our district all wore green and then we went and ate shabushabu and it was delicious.
LOVE YOU ALL!
p.s. today we are going to the zoo and my companion is so excited because she has never seen elephants or giraffes and the like!